Wisconsin counties finish 2020 election recounts, solidifying Biden’s win over Trump

(Photos by Drew Angerer & Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Wisconsin finished a recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirming Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court even before the recount concluded.

The Trump campaign requested a recount in Dane and Milwaukee counties, costing the campaign $3 million.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell tweeted an update Monday to the vote totals after finding a discrepancy in the counting process. Biden received 260,121 votes compared to Trump’s 78, 794 votes.

Dane County was the last county to finish its recount. Milwaukee County, the state’s other big and overwhelmingly liberal county reported its results Friday. Biden received 317,527 with Trump receiving 134,482, according to FOX 6 Milwaukee.

Taken together, the two counties barely budged Biden’s winning margin of about 20,600 votes.

Milwaukee County completed its recount of presidential ballots Friday, finding only small changes in vote totals, but President Donald Trump’s attorneys appear ready for a legal challenge seeking to toss tens of thousands of ballots.

The Milwaukee County vote totals increased for both candidates after election officials found several hundred ballots earlier this week. Claire Woodall-Vogg, the chief election official for the city of Milwaukee, said the ballots were not initially counted due to “human error.”

“I promised this would be a transparent and fair process, and it was,” said Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson.

Trump’s campaign appears to be preparing a court challenge to change the election’s outcome, but his window to sue is narrow. The deadline to certify the vote is Tuesday. Certification is done by the Democratic chair of the Wisconsin Election Commission, which is bipartisan.

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The Wisconsin Voters Alliance, a conservative group, has already filed a lawsuit against election officials, seeking to block certification of the results. It echoes many of the claims Trump is expected to make.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ attorneys filed a response to the lawsuit on Friday, calling it a “brazen attack on democracy itself” and asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss it.

Evers, a Democrat, said the group’s lawsuit is a “mishmash of legal distortions” that uses factual misrepresentations in an attempt to take voting rights away from millions of Wisconsin residents. He argues that failing to certify the election results would overturn other election results across the state, throwing the government into chaos.

Trump’s attorneys have targeted absentee ballots where voters identified themselves as “indefinitely confined,” allowing them to cast an absentee ballot without showing a photo ID; ballots that have a certification envelope with two different ink colors, indicating a poll worker may have helped complete it; and absentee ballots that don’t have a separate written record for its request, such as in-person absentee ballots.

Election officials have counted those ballots during the recount, but marked them as exhibits at the request of the Trump campaign.

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Trump’s campaign has already failed elsewhere in court without proof of widespread fraud, which experts widely agree doesn’t exist. Trump legal challenges have failed in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

On Monday, the federal government recognized Biden as the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election over Trump. Even though Trump kept up his attacks on the election, he said he is assisting Biden with the transition.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.